Raids on Cong leader, minister yield Rs 162 cr

Raids on Cong leader, minister yield Rs 162 cr

Income tax raids on the houses of a minister and a Congress leader have led to the unearthing of Rs 162.06 crore in undisclosed income.

Ramesh Jarkiholi, small scale industries minister, and Laxmi Hebbalkar, State Congress women’s wing president, are the leaders raided. Jarkiholi is also the minister in charge of Belagavi district.

The haul
Unexplained cash totalling Rs 41 lakh and gold and jewellery weighing 12.8 kg were also seized during the raids, tax officials said.The operations began early on Thursday (January 19) and ended on Sunday, according to a release from the income tax department.

On Thursday, the department’s Investigation Directorate conducted multiple raids in Gokak, Belagavi and Bengaluru on the houses of Jarkiholi, his brother Lakhan Jarkiholi, Hebbalkar and their close associates.

“Gathered intelligence revealed that both followed almost similar modus operandi for tax evasion. Common entry providers/facilitators were involved,’’ said the statement, released on Monday.

The taxmen said they had carried out the operations with sensitivity, given the political implications and the law and order challenges.

Mobs gathered at Gokak and Belagavi, and at one place the situation threatened to go out of hand. People dispersed only after I-T officials convinced them the raids were not political, the statement said. Dismissing rumours that the raids were based on a tip-off from Sanathkumar V V, a close associate of BJP MLA Sanjay Patil (Belagavi Rural), the release said the information came from its own intelligence sources. “No informer was in any way involved,’’ the department said.

Cash, co-ops, sugar factories
Surveys confirmed huge cash deposits were made into the accounts of the leaders’ family members and associates, and in ‘benami’ accounts in primary cooperative societies. The money was then transferred to business entities engaged in sugar manufacturing, the tax department said. Non-existent persons were made shareholders and investors in one of the sugar companies, according to an official release. Sources said the officials had found money being siphoned off to companies taking up turnkey projects to set up sugar factories. The books also showed bogus assets.
DH News Service

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